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New Push For A Pinecrest Charter School

Twain Harte, CA – The non-profit benefit corporation, Pinecrest School Club, has submitted a second petition to hopefully open a charter school in Tuolumne County.

Today the school’s lead petitioner, Heidi Lupo, delivered the charter petition for the Pinecrest Expedition Academy to the Twain Harte School District. The school would be located at the former Pinecrest Elementary campus.

“Twain Harte now has 30 days to schedule a public hearing and then they must vote to approve or deny the petition within 30 days,” according to Lupo. She adds, “We’re not sure how this is going to sit with Twain Harte. If they feel that it’s not a good fit, then we do have the option to appeal to the county and we plan to pursue that if Twain Harte does in fact deny it.”

A move that could be challenging, as the academy was denied a “county-wide benefit charter” by Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Office earlier this month citing that the petition did not fit the criteria of offering programs that were unique and could not be provided by current schools in the county, as reported here.  However, Lupo explains this appeal would be different, “This charter falls under some different education code statutes and the county would not be approving a county-wide benefit. It would be approving a single location as a district based charter in the Pinecrest area. So, it’s a little different criteria and set a different president with the county as it wouldn’t be opening several locations.”

The petition details that the academy would be a kindergarten through eighth grade school focused on the “Expeditionary Learning Education platform,” Lupo details that it is a hands on learning approach where rather than sticking inside the classroom students would head outdoors to study subjects like, fire prevention.